Pollution

Decades of industrial use degraded much of the Great Lakes' shoreline and waters. In recent years, stricter regulation and ambitious cleanup campaigns have reversed that neglect, but agricultural runoff remains a serious problem.

Ways to Connect

A year ago, Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency because of lead-contaminated drinking water, attracting national outrage and sympathy, and millions of gallons of donated water.

But a year later donations have slowed to a trickle, and little has changed — unfiltered water here is still unsafe to drink.

ANGELICA A. MORRISON

Every year, hundreds of volunteers work to clear plastic bags and other garbage from areas along the Great Lakes and its tributaries.


The $40 million fine that Princess Cruise Lines will pay to settle criminal allegations of illegal dumping illustrates a much broader problem. It impacts the Great Lakes and waters all around the United States, Great Lakes Today Managing Editor Dave Rosenthal told Here & Now in an interview.

Marcus Eriksen, The 5 Gyres Institute

Great Lakes Today reporter Elizabeth Miller appeared on WVIZ/PBS program Ideas to discuss marine debris and the recent Northeast Ohio Plastic Marine Debris Reduction Symposium.

 

Elizabeth Miller

An upcoming conference in Cleveland will tackle marine debris, the pieces of plastic that wash up on the river, ocean, or Great Lake shores.  It's a issue that has affected the health and appearances of beaches around the world.  Marine debris can be anything in the lake that’s not supposed to be there – plastic bottles, grocery bags, or balloons.  It has a deadly effect on wildlife, especially birds.  

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